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General Staff: Russian national guard shoots own soldiers for planning to surrender to Ukraine

by The Kyiv Independent news desk January 8, 2023 8:50 PM 2 min read
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On Jan. 5, Russia employed a unit of the country's national guard Rosgvardiia to shoot six Russian troops who had signaled their intention to surrender to Ukrinian forces near Chystopillia in the southern Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Ukraine's General Staff reported in its daily evening briefing.

The soldiers were shot "to maintain military discipline and prevent the spread of panic among personnel," the report said.

The shooting of deserters is not a part of official military doctrine in Russia, but evidence is mounting of its increasing proliferation as a practice.

In November, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported that units of the Russian army had started deploying "barrier troops", whose job is to prevent the retreat of Russian soldiers by threatening to shoot them.

On Dec. 16, the Insider reported that the shooting of deserters was common practices among units of Russian state-controlled paramilitary organization Wagner Group.

Rosgvardiia, an 340,000 force usually reserved for quelling internal unrest within Russia, has been documented to have played an active role in the invasion of Ukraine, participating in the failed offensives on Kyiv and Kharkiv in the early stages of the full-scale war.

The report also said that Ukrainian forces shot down three Russian helicopters over Dec. 8, including a Mi-8, a Ka-52 Alligator and an unspecified model, as well as three Orlan-10 drones.

Ukraine was targeted by one Russian missile strike, 19 air strikes and more than ten attacks from multiple rocket launchers on Ukraine, including on civilian infrastructure, over Jan. 8, the briefing said.

The Russian army also continued to conduct offensives in the eastern Donetsk Oblast, in the Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Lyman sectors. The Russian military is "concentrating its efforts" to capture the entire Donetsk region within the administrative border, but without success, the report said.

Ukraine's air force also conducted 10 strikes on concentrations Russian manpower and equipment, as well as two strikes on Russian anti-aircraft missile systems.

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